Leaders across healthcare research, academia and industry have come together to launch a unique partnership.
Health Innovation Manchester will speed up the discovery, development and delivery of innovative solutions to help improve the health of the almost three million people in Greater Manchester, and beyond.
The new approach, which is the latest landmark in the region’s devolution of health and social care, builds on the existing expertise and assets in the area to address a nationwide issue of delays between research innovation and health and economic benefits being realised on the ground.
It will harness the partner organisations’ collective expertise to develop the infrastructure needed for clinical trials and health informatics.
The partnerships aims and ambitions are enshrined in a Memorandum of Understanding which will be signed today by key partners from across the system including Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network, the Clinical Research Network, Manchester Science Partnerships and Manchester Growth Company.
Health priorities in Greater Manchester include cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, drug and alcohol misuse and the high prevalence of obesity among adults and children.
The early priorities identified for Health Innovation Manchester are:
- Build on groundbreaking work on integrated health data systems to extend it to the whole of Greater Manchester. This will enable better care (by providing more joined-up information to GPs and hospitals) and potentially help identify new ways of treating diseases.
- Improve the ability to use personalised medicine, with more targeted treatments for those who will benefit most from them. For example, this could involve developing new medicines to treat specific groups of patients or targeting existing treatments more effectively.
- Enhance the testing of new medicines or treatments to enable those with the biggest positive impact to be identified and introduced into routine clinical practice across the whole of Greater Manchester as quickly as possible, maximising the patient benefits.
These priorities will be underpinned by engagement with cutting edge businesses to ensure effective collaborations which will help make Greater Manchester a magnet for innovative life science companies.
The partnership will also be able to have new innovations tested and validated for use across all NHS sites in the region – and then share data, learning and costs to improve diagnosis and ensure that patients get the most appropriate treatment. This will then have an impact on the region’s industry from research and development through to manufacturing.
Clive Morris, Director of Health Innovation Manchester, said: “Greater Manchester already benefits from a strong history of research and innovation in health. It is an important life sciences cluster and an ecosystem with significant growth potential.
“However, we know that it can take many years for a new innovation to reach routine adoption across the NHS, and that we don’t leverage our skills and capabilities across the whole of the region and across different diseases.
“Our ambition is to solve this by harnessing and building on the collective expertise we have, and working together to develop the very best approaches to address the health needs of Greater Manchester. By working collectively across healthcare providers, academia and industry – more closely than ever before – we can see the potential to accelerate the discovery and development of new innovations and transform the health of our population.”
Councillor Cliff Morris, lead on health for Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), said: “This approach complements and supports our devolution objectives and ambitions around integrated health and social care – allowing people to have more control of their own health – while taking pressure off hospitals and boosting work in the community.”
Sir Richard Leese, lead on growth for GMCA, said: “All these developments are based on firm foundations. Greater Manchester is already recognised as being in the top three UK life science clusters with almost 11,500 people working in pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology businesses.
“World-class strengths include a strong research-led university base, six major teaching hospitals, a successful record of clinical trials, rich history of innovation and a wide industrial base. It also has the only accredited Academic Health Science Centre in the UK outside the South East, which is a powerful platform to widen Greater Manchester’s business base and growth.”
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said: “This partnership will allow new medical discoveries by University of Manchester researchers to have patient benefit much faster, something which is of critical importance to the major health challenges we face as a city. We already work closely with our NHS and industry partners, but HIM means that ideas can move much more quickly from the lab to having an impact on people in Greater Manchester, and ultimately around the world.”
NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said: “Manchester has a proud history of world-leading breakthroughs in medicine and science and this approach will accelerate future gains for patients, hospitals, universities and employers across the region.”